Community Spotlight: Meet our multi-media renaissance man

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Vince Colaiocco has many passions, and brings them all to life here

By John Morton

Q: Vince, you cherish your many activities on Siesta Key. What is your history with the island?
A: My history with Siesta Key dates back to the late ‘80s, when my father lived in the old apartment buildings that ran along Avenida Navarra behind the walk-through that is now Bonjour French Café. I’d spend some weekends there, and even at a young age knew it was a special place.
A lot has changed since then, but the core vibe relative to the music scene is still as strong as ever. When I started performing professionally, I knew Siesta Key was where I needed to be.

Performing on a Sunday morning at the Siesta Key Oyster Bar. (photo by John Morton)

Q: Speaking of music, it runs in your blood. Share with us your story.
A: My mother often tells stories about how when I was a baby, no matter where we would be or what we would be doing, if some music came on I’d stop and begin to sway and dance. As I grew older, I would often play through my father’s old vinyl. I had no doubt that I wanted to be a musician. I had no formal training, but began to tinker with guitar around the fifth grade. I think I played and tried too much, and it frustrated the hell out of me and I stopped playing for about two years.
Then, after some time, I picked it up again and began to progress rather quickly. I realized that I could sing pretty well, so I started singing everything. My sister and I would record ourselves singing and imitating different artists and it became a big part of our young lives together.
In 2000, I recorded an album out in Tacoma, Washington with a high school friend. During this time, I was working as a line cook in different restaurants but would pursue music always in the background. As a struggling artist, I came back to Florida around 2002 and started to work my way up the ranks as a chef, which I was also naturally good at, like my father before me.
I would head out to the Key and check out the gigs around the village, still knowing it was what I really wanted to do. During this time, I still worked on music, and released an album under the band name Greenhouse Effect in 2007 with my friend and music partner Rick Almarode.
In 2015, after 13 years as a chef, I decided to put away my knives, walk away from a very well-paying career, and start playing music professionally.
Q: Back to your days as a chef — tell us more and do any dishes at any Siesta Key establishments make an impression upon you?
A: Upon returning to Florida, I began working in private or semi-private country clubs and worked my way up to executive chef status after only a few years. I was executive chef for Peridia Golf & Country Club in Bradenton, River Wilderness Golf & Country Club in Parrish, and TPC Prestancia here in SRQ.
I loved the creative aspects of the position, writing menus, profit-and-loss and budgeting, purchasing, and scheduling and running a crew.
Oddly enough, I am a simple eater these days. I used to work 12- to 15-hour shifts in the kitchen, preparing and executing these huge fancy meals and wine dinners for people, then come home and have a bowl of Lucky Charms or tomato soup and grilled cheese and call it a day.
Boring as can be, I know. I became so vanilla about food after all those years of as a chef.
My routine consists of hitting-up SKOB after my Friday gig, where I usually get a simple Caesar salad with chicken or some dry rub wings.
I often hit-up Thai Star for its amazing crab Rangoon, gyoza, and house fried rice.
The Hub has a secret veggie burrito menu item you can ask for, but I always get that with chicken. It has an amazing flavor profile.

Colaiocco with piano student Sebastian Gorgas (center) and fellow instructor Shawn Doolittle at a recital at the Glenridge Performing Arts Center in Lakewood Ranch. (submitted photo)

Q: We understand you also teach music?
A: Some of my musician friends who taught at a local music school, Elizabeth Farrell Music, mentioned to Elizabeth that I had the knowledge and mannerisms to teach for her organization. I began teaching in October of 2017, providing guitar, bass, piano, ukulele, and drums/percussion lessons for kids and adults in the Sarasota/Siesta Key/Lakewood Ranch area.
I also do studio session work locally, providing vocal parts on various artists’ albums under the guidance of local producer legend Bud Snyder.

Q: You play music all around the Key. Describe that vibe you mentioned earlier.
A: We have such a great community of musicians out here on Siesta and in Sarasota, in general. The amount of talent this area has to offer never ceases to amaze. I jumped head first into the scene and was welcomed by so many great musicians that I now feel honored to call my friends. Not to mention being recognized by them as a fellow musician and colleague.
It’s been amazing. We all tend to really look out for one another. We show up at each other’s shows and support each other as much as we can. It’s just a fantastic group of humans.
My goal within the next year or two is to release a set of original singles in which I showcase the talent of these friends and musicians based on the needs of the tracks. I think it will be a great way to show some love for this community that has made me feel so welcomed and appreciated.

In the studio with singer Taylor Corrine Opie and producer Bud Snyder, who has worked with acts such at the Allman Brothers, Government Mule, and Jeff Buckley;

Q: Finally, you own a media company. Tell us about that.
A: I started Vincent C Media to cover four main aspects of my business: music instruction, music performance, studio session work, and photography.
On the photography end of things, Vincent C Photography covers everything from weddings and events to family photo shoots and headshots. I have an Instagram page with examples of my work under the handle @vincentcphotography.
I also have a dedicated Instagram page under the handle @vincolaiocco that is mostly all Siesta Key sunsets. I walk Siesta on evenings that I’m not teaching and snap photos of the sunsets and post them every other day on my profile. This page has started to become rather popular, so I have linked those shots to a website called Picfair that will sell prints and digital licenses to the pictures. It’s simply amazing how different and equally beautiful Siesta Key sunsets can be. Walking out there is my meditation.
My clients come from all over to the Siesta area and contact my company for pics of their family or wedding day. The best way to inquire about any of my business offerings is to email

John Morton
Author: John Morton

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